Question from Alisha V.
I am 13 and I got my first period on Dec. 12, so I have had my period twice so far. Pads are just so uncomfortable and yuck, and I really want to try tampons! I don’t see them as scary but talking to my mom and asking is the scariest. (I have texted her to buy me liners and I also texted her saying I got my period). Do you think I’m ready to start wearing tampons? If so, how do I bring up the subject or ask her?! Thanks Weezy.
I think it’s time for a face to face with mom. Text her that you need a girl talk.
This will require some courage but once you start speaking with your mom about lady things, that wall will come down and you will be able to do it much more easily every time.
Remember that your mom is your go-to person on this subject. She’s got about a 360-month advantage on you. This woman is a seasoned feminine hygiene veteran. You are living with a certified expert on the subject. Open a direct line of communication!
When you are face to face with your mom, you can say, “I wanted to text this because I am so nervous. But I also want to be able to come to you with these questions, so here goes …”
If it makes you less nervous, you can then pick up your phone and read … “When can I start using tampons?”
Then look up and give your mom a smile to ease the tension. This subject matter is not taboo or scary or awkward to your mother. She is well accustomed to speaking with her women friends about their menstrual cycles. They make little jokes and snide remarks. They borrow products and they have assigned a multitude of silly code names for “Dear Aunt Flo.”
Of course it feels intensely personal and embarrassing to you because it is happening in a very private area of your body and because it’s so new. But getting one’s period is as natural as sneezing.
Give your period your own silly code name today and you will own it. You’ve got this. Now it’s time to enrich yourself with facts, tips and valuable inside information. Go talk to your mom. Together, you can decide if you are ready to try tampons.
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Question from Andrew T.
I need some help. I don’t know how to come out to my friends and I am kinda scared. Advice?
Every gay or bi person has their own coming out story. It all depends upon so many different factors. What kind of town do you live in? What are your friends like? Are there other openly gay kids in your area? Do your parents know? What type of people are your parents? Are they warm and loving to gay friends and family members? Have you ever heard them make disparaging remarks about the LGBT community?
Only you can put all of these factors together to determine how and when you want to come out to friends and family. Your personal safety must come for first. If that is solid, you can then consider your emotional safety.
Test these waters by mentioning gay celebrities. For example, if you start talking about Neil Patrick Harris or Ellen and your friends seem to be fans, then you are ready to move the conversation forward. You can begin with one trusted friend and tell this person that you believe you may be gay.
A good friend will be genuinely touched and honored that you have chosen him or her to tell first.
The web series, Out With Dad, is excellent viewing for young people who are struggling with how and when to come out, and also for parents who are wondering how to help their child possibly come out.
(Out With Dad video)
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Question from Paul A.
WEEZY!! HI! How can I ask a girl if she likes me without it being awkward and embarrassing? Thanks!
That’s sort of like asking how to walk barefoot on hot asphalt without burning your feet. It really can’t be done. You can try to minimize the awkwardness by reminding yourself of all the boys who have gone before you and done exactly this. You can think about your right to like a girl and to ask her out and you can consider the quality of your character and the gift your question may be to this girl. But no matter how well you fortify yourself with encouraging thoughts, your heart is going to be pounding like a college drum line. This is a hard thing to do. It always has been. It always will be. There are no short cuts.
Step one is, get to know the girl. Don’t just walk over and tell her that you like her. Your first goal is to establish a friendship. If she likes you as more than a friend, she will make a lot of eye contact and she will go out of her way to be around you. When you sense that your attraction may be mutual, muster up your courage and tell her how you feel. It will feel awkward and embarrassing. There is no way around that. But whatever the outcome, you will know that you are a person who faces challenges.
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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at email@example.com and it may be answered in a subsequent column.
— Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (Family Band: The Cowsills Story is currently airing on Showtime Networks), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Our Place, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.